Fri 19 March 2021 | 6:30

Johan Cruyff Quotes, a complete collection

A look back at the Johan Cruyff Greatest Quotes including his comments on the biggest players of the world to his revolutionary football system.

No one can argue against the fact that Johan Cruyff is among the greatest and most influential football managers of all time.

As a player, He was the star of the


side that dominated European football in the 70’s and was the key man in the Dutch national side that reached two World Cup finals, playing their famous brand of Total Football. As a manager, Cruyff's footballing principles have significantly influenced the football career of many players and managers.

After a successful stint playing for Barcelona, Cruyff became the club's manager and laid the foundations for the beautiful attacking football we see Barcelona play today.

In total, Cruyff managed three teams in 551 matches. Leaving behind a win percentage of 61.34. Many football fans admire Cruyff for his exciting version of attacking football and many managers around the have tried to imitate his vision and tactics. In the following article we present you with a complete collection of

Johan Cruyff greatest quotes


A collection of Johan Cruyff Greatest Quotes

A complete collection of Johan Cruyff quotes including his footballing philosophy as well as his comments on Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.

Johan Cruyff Quotes on the 'Total Football' system

Johan Cruyff is famous for introducing a new version of Total Football, a system based on having possession of the ball and attacking mentality. In Cruyff's version of Total Football, every player contributes in attack and defence. The goalkeeper and the defensive line are responsible for starting the attacking move, while the strikers are the first line of defense when the team does not have the ball.

Cruyff upgraded Total Football which he learned as a player at Ajax and

Netherland national team

. His innovative ideas changed football forever. In this part of the article we will have a look at the

best Johan Cruyff quotes

on his footballing philosophy.

"Football is not about suffering. It's about enjoyment. Control the ball, be friendly with it, try to attack, and try to score goals. Of course defending is part of it, but you can defend in a lot of ways."

"When I don't have control of the ball, what do I do? I press to get it back. It's a way of defending. But more important is that I like to have the ball. That's why I believe in individual coaching sessions to prepare players properly."

"Football is about having the best offensive play possible. I always like to play offensive football, and nobody will convince me otherwise."

"Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate."

"Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is."

"Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring."

”In my teams, the goalie is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender.”

"When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball 3 minutes on average. So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball. That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not."

"If you have the ball you must make the field as big as possible, and if you don’t have the ball you must make it as small as possible."

”There is only one ball, so you need to have it.”

"If my forward arrives in a one vs one situation, I always say: 'let him work it out.' Then my players say: But we can help him!'. My reply is: First, there's a good chance you'll only run in his way, and as a second attacker you're drawing a second defender with you, and two vs two is harder than one vs one."

”There are very few players who know what to do when they’re not marked. So sometimes you tell a player: that attacker is very good, but don’t mark him.”

”Someone who has juggled the ball in the air during a game, after which four defenders of the opponent get the time to run back, that’s the player people think is great. I say he has to go to a circus.”

"If you play on possession, you don't have to defend, because there's only one ball."

"The hardest thing about an easy match is making a weak opponent play poor. A poor player isn't poor because he tends to kick the ball in his own goal. It's because when you put intense pressure on him, he loses control. So you have to increase the tempo of the game and he'll automatically give the ball away."

Johan Cruyff quotes about football

The legendary Dutch manager is famous for his interesting and inspirational views on football and the ideal way it should be played. Cruyff was indeed a philosophical individual and looked at the beautiful game with an insight which was unique to himself. We will have a look at Johan Cruyff quotes about football:

"Football is now all about money. There are problems with the values within the game. This is sad because football is the most beautiful game. We can play it in the street. We can play it everywhere."

"The most important part are the fans, that people going home are happy. It's their time off, and you should give them something to enjoy."

"Football should never be a worry. It should be exciting. When a child plays football outside, he doesn't need to worry. Professionals should be the same."

"I find it terrible when talents are rejected based on computer stats. Based on the criteria at Ajax now I would have been rejected. When I was 15, I couldn’t kick a ball 15 meters with my left and maybe 20 with my right. My qualities technique and vision, are not detectable by a computer."

”Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.”

"It's like everything in football - and life. You need to look, you need to think, you need to move, you need to find space, and you need to help others. It's very simple in the end."

"Football is a game of mistakes. Whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins."

"Every trainer talks about movement, about running a lot. I say don't run so much. Football is a game you play with your brain. You have to be in the right place at the right moment, not too early, not too late."

"In football, the difference between right and wrong is often not more than five meters."

“Footballers who come from a poor family, play good football, get rich and go off the rails. Put yourself in their position. Just try to digest it. In fact, hardly any European clubs even look at that kind of issue. Because the worlds are too far apart. The board, the directors and the managers who should be keeping an eye on things like that don’t understand the culture of players from that sort of background. They just don’t have the life experience to be able to imagine themselves in that situation.”

"My generation put in a lot more hours playing football after school than kids today. These days, all the football these kids play, they play at their clubs, so the clubs need to work seriously on the basic skills."

Johan Cruyff quotes about Barcelona

Johan Cruyff had a very special relationship with


football club. He first dazzled the Camp Nue as a player in the 70s and helped the Catalans to break the hegemony of Real Madrid. After his retirement, Cruyff returned to Barcelona as a coach and assembled what would become one of the most popular and dominant teams in the history.

Cruyff's famous Barcelona 'Dream team' won a total of 11 trophies in 8 years, including four back-to-back La Liga titles from 1991 till 1994. Cruyff and was the most accomplished manager in Barcelona's history until Pep Guardiola broke his record with 14 titles in 4 seasons. So it is very interesting to have a look at the most interesting

Johan Cruyff quotes about Barcelona


"There is no medal better than being acclaimed for your style. As a coach, if people say that Barcelona were playing the nicest football in the world with me as coach, what more can I ask for? That is the greatest reward."

"Who am I supporting? I am Dutch but I support the football that Spain is playing. Spain's style is the style of Barcelona. Spain, a replica of Barca, is the best publicity for football."

"Barcelona are a unique club in the world, no one has kept their jersey intact throughout their history, yet have remained as competitive as they come."

"At Barcelona, We showed the world you could enjoy being a footballer; you could laugh and have a fantastic time. I represent the era which proved that attractive football was enjoyable and successful, and good fun to play too."

Johan Cruyff quotes on Messi and Ronaldo

In every generation, young football fans argue endlessly about who is the best player of the history of football. In our generation the debate is mostly between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo fans. Johan Cruyff has managed only one player of the famous trio, Lionel Messi.

Cruyff has praised Ronaldo in his interviews, but believed Messi was an altogether more complete player. He famously predicted that Messi would win up to six or seven Ballon D'ors. He are the best Johan Cruyff quotes on

Lionel Messi

and Cristiano Ronaldo.

On Lionel Messi:

"Messi is much more a team player than Cristiano is. He scores but also produces many assists. For me, as a player, Messi is better. There is a big difference in being just a great goalscorer and being the best player.

"This isn't about Cristiano at all. He's a fantastic player, one of the best goal scorers ever. This is about how ridiculously good Messi is."

“Probably, he will win five, six, or seven Ballon D'ors, he’s incomparable, He plays in another league.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo:

" I've always liked technical players because I've been a bit like that. Cristiano is a great player, but he's just a goalscorer."

"Cristiano will never be the player who can create or take care that his team plays well. He is just a finisher."

Johan Cruyff famous Quotes On football figures

The followings are 

Johan Cruyff famous quotes

 on the football figures including his quotes on Pep Guardiola, Xavi and 

Andres Iniesta


On Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola was in many ways the successor of Johan Cruyff. He was a key player in Johan Cruyff's Barcelona Dream Team in the 90S. As a coach, he revolutionized his mentor's philosophy of the game into a new system of Total Football.

Johan Cruyff had an especial relationship with Pep Guardiola. It was Cruyff who advised Juan Laporta to hire Guardiola despite the latter's lack of experience as a coach. An advice which paid off incredibly as Barcelona became an all-conquering team under Guardiola's guidance.

"Barca wanted to get rid of him [Guardiola]. They considered him scrawny, bad defensively and ineffective in the air. What nobody saw was that he had the basic qualities to go far: he had game intelligence, speed in his execution, technique. If I hadn't been at Barcelona, for sure he would have been sold to a Segunda Division club."

On Liverpool fans:

"There's not one club in Europe with an anthem like You'll Never Walk Alone. There's not one club in the world so united with their fans. I sat there watching the


fans and they sent shivers down my spine. A mass of 40,000 people became one force behind their team. That's something not many teams have. For that I admire Liverpool more than anything."

On Denis Bergkamp:

"You have to pay attention, use your brain and find the right position. If you get to the ball late, it means you chose the wrong position. Bergkamp was never late."

On Luis Van Gaal:

"Van Gaal has a good vision on football. But it's not mine. He wants to gel winning teams and has a militaristic way of working with his tactics. I don't. I want individuals to think for themselves and take the decision on the pitch that is best for the situation. I don't have anything against computers, but you judge football players intuitively and with your heart."

On Xavi and Andres Iniesta:

"I like technical players who can also think in terms of the team's interests. I've already mentioned Iniesta and Xavi, who disprove entirely the theory that only physically strong footballers with a lot of running ability can play in their positions."

Johan Cruyff quotes on God, Life and death

We wrap up our article on

Johan Cruyff quotes

with his best comments on the philosophy of God, Life and death.

"In my team I’m ex-player, ex-technical director, ex-coach, ex-manager, ex-honorary president. A nice list that once again shows that everything comes to an end."

"I'm not religious. In


all 22 players make the sign of the cross before they enter the pitch. If it works all matches must therefore end in a draw."

So here was our article on Johan Cruyff quotes. Which part did you like the most? Any quotes you want to add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.

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